In a preliminary concept/design phase, a regional sandstone brine aquifer present across a portion of the Illinois basin was characterized for storage. Specific attention was given to working gas performance under short-duration cycles, cushion gas influence on water production, and hydrogen dispersion in both lateral and vertical directions. In addition, the impact on subsurface well design on gas saturations for extended injection/drainage cycles was investigated. Initial screening results used relative permeability parameters determined in a brine/hydrogen system derived from Yekta, 2018. Preliminary results suggest that internal shale barriers mitigate dispersion and deter migration into the caprock, cushion gas volumes significantly impact brine production, elevated gas saturations are preserved near the wellbore utilizing lateral placement of perforations, and associated brine production during hydrogen drainage decreases using a horizontal well design. Ongoing research involves additional modeling of diffusion rates, possible hydrogen consumption due to microbial interactions, capillary pressure effects (reservoir and caprock) and incorporation of results from hydrogen flow-through experiments using core under reservoir temperature and pressure conditions.

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